Electronic Messages Increase Hepatitis B Screening in At-Risk Asian American Patients: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
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Hepatitis B (HBV) induced hepatocellular carcinoma is the greatest cancer health disparity affecting Asian Americans, but the prevalence of screening to detect HBV is suboptimal.
Our aims were to determine the effectiveness of electronic health record (EHR) prompts to increase ordering of HBV tests among primary care providers (PCPs) within an academic health system.
We conducted a randomized, controlled trial between April and June 2011 among 76 PCPs caring for 175 outpatient adults with Chinese or Vietnamese surnames, with appointments with providers and no history of HBV testing. Providers were randomized to either receive an EHR prompt for HBV testing prior to patients’ appointments or usual care. Primary outcomes were the proportion of patients (1) whose physician ordered a HBsAg test and (2) who completed testing. Secondary outcomes were (A) test results and (B) whether the physicians followed-up on the results.
HBsAg tests were ordered for 36/88 (40.9 %) of the intervention patients and 1/87 (1.1 %) of the control patients [χ 2 (df = 1) = 41.48, p < 0.001]. Thirty intervention patients (34.1 %) and no control patients completed the HBsAg test [χ 2 (df = 1) = 35.80, p < 0.001]. Four (13.3 %) of the completed tests were HBsAg-positive, 14 (46.7 %) were immune, and 12 (40 %) were unprotected from HBV. Two HBsAg-positive patients were referred to specialists, and 3 unprotected patients were vaccinated for HBV.
EHR-based provider prompts significantly increased HBV testing in Chinese and Vietnamese patients when compared to “usual care.” EHR prompts are a promising intervention that could significantly increase screening for HBV.
KeywordsHepatitis B Asian-American Hepatocellular carcinoma Electronic health record
This study was supported in part by the UC Davis School of Medicine Office of the Dean and P01CA109091-A1 from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. However, the views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.
Conflict of interest
Dr. Bowlus receives research support and consulting fees from Bristol Myers Squibb and Gilead.
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